What it is: The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell is a behind-the-scenes account the astonishingly awful cult classic The Room. It tells everything a fan of the movie would want to know, from anecdotes from filming to how it ultimately rose to fame. Much of the novel is devoted to debunking the myths behind the movie’s writer/director/producer/lead actor/potential extraterrestrial Tommy Wiseau.
What I liked about it: So detailed and specific that I felt like I was on set and along for the ride. The story of how The Room was made is ridiculous enough on its own to be funny, but the author’s commentary and analogies make it even more entertaining. It had a deadpan humor to it that reminded me a lot of when actors on The Office look directly into the camera to emphasize Michael’s antics and show their reactions.
What I didn’t like about it: Halfway through the book, Sestero appears to discover the phrase “in the can” and then proceed to use it as a transition between every on-set story.
Memorable quote: “Why not just have one confrontation? I have no idea. In the final film Tommy separates these two nearly identical moments with a supremely nonsensical establishing shot of a San Francisco skyscraper.” (In this case, the quote is less “memorable” and more representative of the humor.)
Overall rating: 5/5 stars.
Challenge satisfied: #21, read a guilty pleasure.
Additional notes: It’s possible you’d enjoy this book and find it interesting without seeing The Room first, but I don’t recommend it. In fact, I don’t recommend you do anything else before watching The Room. Like seriously, go watch it now. It’s hilariously awful.
The Disaster Artist is book 1 of 24 for my Read Harder Challenge.
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